June 18, 2020

Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
415.365.1337 | cvasquez@nclrights.org

NCLR Applauds Supreme Court Ruling Invalidating Trump Administration’s Attempt to End DACA Program

WASHINGTON, DCToday, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Trump Administration’s attempt to end the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides relief from deportation for certain undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and have lived in this country for much of their lives.

“This decision today from the Supreme Court marks an incredible victory for DACA recipients and for everyone who believes in equity and immigration justice,” said NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon. “While this ruling protects every LGBTQ DREAMer, we are reminded that our work continues as we work to achieve full protections for every individual immigrating to this country, starting with calling on Congress to finally pass legislation that would create a legal pathway to citizenship for every undocumented individual living in the United States.”

“This decision is a huge victory for DACA recipients – including more than 39,000 who are LGBTQ.” said Noemi Calonje, NCLR Immigration Project Director. “Permitting this administration to break faith with these young people and their families would have been a permanent stain on our country. Today’s decision is just a stepping-stone on the journey towards the full protection they need and deserve, but it is an important one.  While there is much work still to do to achieve full protections for everyone immigrating to this country, NCLR’s Immigration Project is thrilled to join in the chorus of those celebrating and honoring these courageous young people.”

The DACA program began in 2012 under the Obama Administration. In 2017, after President Trump took office, DHS announced its plan to end the program, leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals who had applied for relief under the program vulnerable to forced removal from the United States – for many of them, the only home they have ever known.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Administration’s plan to end DACA was invalid because DHS did not follow the legally required procedure to implement such a change in policy. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, concluded that the attempted repeal of DACA could not stand because DHS “failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients” that would arise if they were suddenly exposed to the risk of deportation.

The Court’s decision means that the DACA program remains in place, and DACA recipients will continue to be entitled to its benefits unless DHS follows the procedures required under federal law to implement any proposed changes in the future.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court also refused to hear the Trump administration’s challenge to California’s law prohibiting state officials from aiding federal agents in seizing custody of immigrants released from county jails.  

“We are relieved the Court let this important sanctuary law stand,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “This administration’s relentless attempts to criminalize individuals and families who are seeking to immigrate to this country betray our most fundamental values and pose a dire threat to the health and wellbeing of multiple communities in California and other states.  We are grateful to the courts for preventing the President and his administration from running roughshod over the Constitution and trampling those who are most vulnerable.”  

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. https://www.nclrights.org